What To Take With You When Studying Abroad

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Image from yurilong at Flickr Creative commons

Nowadays, many students are deciding to make the move to another country in order to study abroad and the number of people going overseas for their education is constantly rising. It has been estimated that ‘more than 4.1 million tertiary-level students were enrolled outside their country of citizenship in 2010’ (OCED iLibrary).

Studying abroad can provide students with some amazing life experiences and can also teach them about other cultures, which can help them to grow into well-adjusted individuals. It can also provide students with a chance to learn another language, to be truly independent and to make amazing friendships that they value throughout their lives.

However, studying abroad does mean that you have to leave your existing friends and family members behind you, which can be very tough for some people. You will also need to leave a substantial amount of personal belongings in your home country, as getting them overseas can be difficult. You can always use student shipping methods to take more of your belongings overseas with you than the airline baggage allowances let you, but you will still need to sit down and think carefully about what you will take.

Here are some ideas as to what will be vital on your move overseas:

1)      Important documents

The very first thing that you should pack when moving abroad for university is your important documents. You should take your visa, along with any other documentation allowing you to study within the country, as well as your passport, other ID and documents for health care. If you have taken out insurance this will also be vital, and you should take copies of your accommodation to help you in getting to your student halls of residence once you arrive.

The website Diversity Abroad advises overseas students to ‘take copies of important documents in your carry-on luggage, but keep them separate from the originals’.

2)      Clothes

Of course you are going to want to take your best clothes with you, but you should be sensible when packing your wardrobe. Think about what you are likely to need in your new home – if you will be going in the winter and are likely to return home for a break in between, don’t pack your swimsuit!

The blog collegefashion.net has an excellent article on must-take clothes for girls going to study abroad. It advises ladies to take a selection of tops, trousers, skirts, jumpers, dresses and shoes with them in order to cover both casual and formal outings. You will also need to take underwear, socks, pyjamas and other items. The website also advises to never ‘bring anything you have never worn’ to ensure you know how you’ll look in the clothes, and to ‘try to pack lighter pieces that are easy to layer [as they] will take up less space than bulkier items and layering your clothes will give your outfits more diversity’.

3)      Books

You will undoubtedly need to take certain books with you for your studies as they will be on your course’s reading list. However, you will also want to take books that you can read for pleasure with you. This is where you can run into problems though, since books can take up a lot of your airline baggage allowance in one fell swoop.

There is a way around this though – you could use a baggage shipping service to get everything you need for your overseas studies over to your new home, and it wouldn’t cost you that much either.

When studying abroad it can be wise to pack light, although if you do want to take more of your belongings with you using a baggage shipping service may be the best bet.

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